We’ve all seen her. The forty-something woman with bronzed, fake cleavage and beestung lips. Some of us abhor her, some of us are envious—I, myself, applaud her. This woman was flaunting her stuff in a store meant for teens, holding tube tops up to her disturbingly round breasts and grinning like it was her first time. A younger woman was glaring at her through her dyed black bangs as she thumbed through the same selection—but the older woman paid no notice. She instead looked up and flashed me a heart-stopping grin that I returned through the glass (despite the fact that we were complete strangers) and then I gave her the thumbs up. Why did I do this?
Well, first, this woman was completely thrilled with herself, in a time where self-deprecating remarks and complaints regarding personal appearance is the norm. Secondly, I think plastic surgery is fantastic.
Cosmetic, or “plastic” surgery is practically a household term now. In this day and age, you are now granted with an option. You can age “gracefully” or you can defy age (and gravity) and get the body you’ve always wanted.
It’s the option itself that I adore, more than the actual surgery. Some women think they don’t need it and their attitude coupled with winning genetics and a healthy lifestyle are proof of their decision. Other women can opt for a complete transformation because they are lost in their jowls and depressed over the weight or lack of that they can’t control.
Society obviously puts pressure on women. There are expectations plastered all over billboards everywhere and we are unfairly judged against airbrushing techniques and models that make up a smidgen of the population. The old adage that men age and women grow old is a sad double standard that is featured prominently in magazines all over the world so I see nothing wrong with wanting that nose job, or implants, or even sex change. The movie “Rocky Horror Picture Show” comes to mind, letting your inner drag queen loose. If your inner drag queen wants cheek implants, then maybe you should take a moment to listen why she or he is whispering to you.
Perhaps I am just conforming to the trend and I am letting society influence me heavily. Either way if it makes you happy then why does it matter what other people think?
When I was twenty-two years old, I had a breast reduction. Why? Because I was stuffing my double Gs into a D cup and crying myself to sleep because I couldn’t wear anything normal. Apparently, there was an evil malicious strand of DNA that was mercilessly at the helm of my breast growth and would not cease until they were touching the floor. By the time I hit twenty-two, I was suffering from back problems, had permanent grooves in my shoulders from digging bra straps and was mentally battered over the fact that I couldn’t button anything across my chest that was not an extra-large men’s dress shirt. My mother was the first to broach the subject of a reduction and I immediately jumped on board.
After some medical red tape, I was given the green light and insurance was going to cover 90 percent of the costs, due to the excessive damage the twins were causing to tissue and posture. I could hardly wait for my first appointment. I was still living in Los Angeles, so the idea of surgery for cosmetic reasons was hardly earth-shattering, but when I walked into the office and read all the pamphlets and peered over the counter at the perfectly featured receptionist, I started to feel even better about myself. When I was shown to the room, I remembering staring at a basket of silicon breasts on a table and then picking them up and squishing them in my palm as the immaculate doctor herself walked in. She took one look at me, pursed her freshly botoxed lips and said, “I don’t think you’ll be needing those.”
I was asked questions and then later had to disrobe and show everyone in the room (meaning doctors, nurses and a med student who sympathetically told me I was “heading South”) my breasts. I was drawn on with markers, man-handled, and eyeballed with concentration. It felt like some college hazing ritual, but I was relieved that I was deemed a candidate downsizing. There was only one problem.
I wanted to be a B-cup. I wanted to wear tank tops with no bra, cute elaborate tops that revealed perfect high small breasts. I wanted to wear pretty, frilly bras that I could purchase in any store anywhere and burn the ugly, plain army corps bras engineered for gigantic proportions.
The thing is, I am built to carry quite a load. I wouldn’t be petite unless I lost various parts in a freak accident. I am broad-shouldered, big-boned and curvaceous, consistently twenty pounds or so overweight with defined features, and a strong personality to match. Everything about me has been genetically engineered for eye-catching cleavage. My frame, the doctors explained, was developed to be the bigger person. Literally. So a B-cup would not look right. I reluctantly downgraded to a C, and was still met with resistance. I didn’t want to admit that they were right. Visions of flimsy damask and lacy bras were almost tangible, but I knew I was defeated and trying to be something I wasn’t. We settled on a D-cup and I was informed that they might become a DD since I was still somewhat young in terms of growth and future pregnancies. This didn’t matter, since I had my doubts that they would grow back to their current frightening size. Just take them off please.
Months later when I recovered, I bought a normal woman’s large shirt and buttoned it across the chest. I burst into tears, and tried on everything in my wardrobe that had never fit right. Tee-shirts, tank tops, bras etc. I was ecstatic. Nothing fit anymore. I had to get a new wardrobe. In the years to come, thanks to worldwide acceptance of boob jobs, I would be able to find beautiful frilly bras in a 38D no matter where I shopped.
Perhaps my situation could be viewed as different because I did have a valid medical reason for a reduction (they took off nearly 2 1/2 pounds total). Aside from the health aspect, I also did it for the same reasons women get implants. I wanted to feel good about myself. I wanted at least 50 percent of the men I met to remember what my eye color was, instead of walking away from the girl with the giant knockers and I wanted to feel … lighter. I’m thirty-four years old now—I still marvel at the difference and I still grin when I can shrug myself into a shirt that hugs the twins and looks flattering. With weight gain and loss, I fluctuate between D and DD but they are very much in control now. Sure, I still get looks, but it’s more admiration then horrified fascination. Women who want implants can suffer just as badly from the opposite end of the spectrum. Hating yourself is unnecessary and it’s something you can change now with science. Even if you don’t opt for surgery, I don’t want you to look in the mirror and want to smash it or hide under the sink. I want you to think that you are beautiful.
If you are well satisfied with what you have, then I applaud you just as loudly for being secure and strong in the face of overwhelming odds. I myself have looked at various age-staving procedures to just shave the years back, but am yet undecided. The wonderful option is always there. My message to you is to do what you want to do with yourself. You have a choice now and if you’ve been having thoughts, private conversations or even loud debates with yourself then maybe it’s time to shock your friends and take the plunge. Thumb your (possibly new) nose at whatever conventions are stopping you and open your mind to building a new you.
As Dr. Frank-N-Furter quotes, in the cult movie “Rocky Horror Picture Show”:
“Don’t dream it … be it.”